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(Reuters) — Property/casualty insurer Travelers Cos. Inc. reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit on Tuesday, hurt by weak underwriting and a rise in asbestos claims.
New York-based Travelers, often seen as a bellwether for the insurance sector, posted an underwriting loss of $149 million, compared with a gain of $198 million a year earlier.
The insurer said it set aside an additional $220 million for asbestos claim reserves in its business insurance unit, compared with a year earlier. The company also set aside higher claims reserves in its commercial auto business.
Net income fell to $396 million, or $1.50 per share, in the third quarter ended Sept. 30 from $709 million, or $2.62 per share, a year earlier.
On an adjusted basis, the company earned $1.43 per share, while analysts were expecting $2.35 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
The Dow component’s total revenue rose about 4% to $8.01 billion.
Travelers shares were down nearly 2% in trading before the bell.
Hurricane Barry made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane early Saturday afternoon along the northern Gulf Coast after briefly becoming a hurricane only hours before landfall, but then weakened by early afternoon.